“People in America don’t understand that our monetary supply is debt based. They think it comes from taxes,” Paula Bradshaw explained. “Taxes are just the [Government’s] way of getting money back from people that’s already in circulation.”
Paula Bradshaw, an emergency room registered nurse who lives in Carbondale, is the Green Party’s candidate to represent Illinois’ 12th congressional district. It’s her second time contesting the seat. In 2012, she received nearly 6 percent of the vote.
Bradshaw is very concerned with current misconceptions about the United States’ monetary system. “All people think about monetary policy is ‘lower taxes’ but that isn’t going to help anything. Taking more money out of the economy, laying off government workers, all that does is throw more people unemployed, less money into the system, and fewer people are able to spend money at the marketplace. We have a market based system. You have to have money to keep it going.”
Bradshaw’s Monetary Policy
“I want to nationalize the Federal Reserve. Instead of us going into debt to provide public services like health, education, social services, parks, libraries, I believe that a nationalized Federal Reserve could spend the money into circulation debt free. Then, as people are paid to do those necessary services, then money is circulated into the local economy,” Bradshaw explained to “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh.
It was Bradshaw’s father who initially fostered her interest in monetary policy. The rest of her family worked in the coal mines but her father worked in the company store. “The miners would come in and they wouldn’t have enough money to buy their food and they would just write an ‘I owe you’.”
Through his experience her father learned that money is a “promise of labor.” Bradshaw agrees. In her words, “[Money] basically stands for labor and the wealth of the Earth and labor working on it.”
Bradshaw laid out her plan to nationalize the Federal Reserve: “It would be like a grant process really. Say someone in East St. Louis comes up with an idea to turn a couple vacant lots into a community garden or a park. Well then, the Federal Reserve would issue it as sort of a grant.” The money is then exchanged for labor by “employing local people to improve that part of their area.”
When pointed out that some people may say she is proposing an inflationary policy, Bradshaw responded, “What’s inflationary is the debt based money system. All of our money right now is put into our economy now by borrowing it and you only borrow the principal, not the interest. So the money supply has to continually inflate in order to pay back the interest, or else the whole thing crashes. So it is way more inflationary to have our entire money supply be transient and debt based than to have a stable money supply that is only used to pay people for necessary labor.”
Scott Air Force Base
Bradshaw is in favor of keeping Scott Air Force Base. However she said “It baffles me that people can only see the military and prisons as good uses of government spending when I think there could be many other good uses of government spending.”
“I am for raising the minimum wage to $15. The more money that is in the average person’s hand the more vibrant the marketplace.” Bradshaw does see issues associated with raising the minimum wage, but she also has solutions.
“If you raise the minimum wage a lot of people will be thrown off the public health insurance system so I’m for abolishing Obamacare and having a Medicare-for-all system. Get rid of all the mish-mash of insurance companies and all their rules.”
Third Party Candidacy
When asked why she is running as a third party candidate for the second time, Bradshaw responded, “The other two are so much alike that there’s no real choice. They’re both for coal. They’re both for war. They’re both for fracking. I’m the only one that’s different.”
Last week, Don Marsh interviewed first-term incumbent Bill Enyart, a Democrat from Belleville, and state Representative Mike Bost, a Republican from Murphysboro.
St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.